- The second day of time trials for the 43rd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals is in the history books, and the three drivers in GM-branded cars battling for the 2007 POWERade Pro Stock championship, Greg Anderson, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and Dave Connolly,...
- The second day of time trials for the 43rd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals is in the history books, and the three drivers in GM-branded cars battling for the 2007 POWERade Pro Stock championship, Greg Anderson, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and Dave Connolly, continue to scramble for a premium raceday starting position.
Team Chevy's Dave Connolly, currently third in the points standings, and hoping to close a 48-point deficit with standings leader Greg Anderson, has the quickest Cobalt in the field so far. Connolly posted his best lap of the weekend during Friday qualifying and has the Torco Racing Fuels Chevrolet in the No. 2 spot with a 6.667 e.t. at 207.43 mph.
"After yesterday, we were expecting the guys at the front of the points standings to be No. 1 and No. 2," said Connolly. "We added a bunch of weight to this Torco Racing Fuels Chevy Cobalt and it was still screaming down the track. Hopefully things will work out for us. After a disappointing weekend in Las Vegas, we knew coming into this race we would need a little luck - we think we can get that tomorrow. We'd like to land somewhere on the ladder where we could face Greg (Anderson) early in eliminations. If we're going to win the championship we're going to have to be able to control our own destiny. It's been a great year, though. We've had eight wins so far, we had five in a row, got in the record books, and we get to drag race for great sponsors like Torco and Chevrolet. But it would be nice to have a big day on Sunday, win a few rounds, and maybe, with a little luck, end up with the championship. We'll just have to wait and see."
Points leader Greg Anderson, who has won the last four national events contested at Auto Club Raceway, improved on his Thursday qualifying mark by nearly two hundredths of a second with a run of 6.673 seconds at 207.02 mph. Anderson's Summit Racing Pontiac is currently qualified in the No. 3 spot.
"It definitely wasn't a bad run," said Anderson. "The Summit Racing Pontiac was fairly easy to drive, it didn't slide around much, but you could feel that the track wasn't as good as it could be - it was better than yesterday. We made minor moves knowing that the track was going to start coming to us. It probably came halfway, and hopefully, by tomorrow, it will - we just didn't want to go over the edge and get ahead of the curve. It's not quite ready for what we're trying to put on it, but maybe tomorrow we'll be able to step it up with our Summit Racing Pontiac, and go into Sunday with the pole and a load of confidence."
Jeg Coughlin Jr., who is second in the points standings and 34 points behind Anderson, continues his dogged pursuit of the POWERade Pro Stock standings leader. Coughlin has the Jegs.com Chevy Cobalt qualified in the No. 8 spot with a 6.689 second run at 207.81 mph.
"Without question, that's the difference in a day," said Coughlin who was the No. 1 qualifier on Thursday. "We certainly had big hopes for our Chevy Cobalt today, we just didn't traverse the track as efficiently as we would have liked. I had my hands full behind the wheel.
"We've been able to claw our way through these last few races, but that's not going to work on Sunday. We're going to have to get our act together and we'll have two great qualifying opportunities to get it done. I expect our performance to improve. The two runs we've had so far have been great warm-ups going into Saturday and I like our chances of improving tomorrow morning, and possibly even tomorrow afternoon."
Jason Line is qualified in the No. 4 position in a Pontiac with a 6.675 second run at 207.98 mph. Ron Krisher is qualified sixth in a Chevy Cobalt, Kurt Johnson is ninth in a Cobalt, Greg Stanfield is 11th in a Pontiac, Warren Johnson is 12th in a Pontiac, Justin Humphreys is 13th in a Pontiac, Craig Hankinson is 14th in a Pontiac and Kenny Koretsky is 16th in a Chevrolet.
In Funny Car, Jeff Arend has the blue Checker Schuck's Kragen Chevy Impala SS in the No. 1 spot with a 4.781 second run at 324.90 mph.
"I think as well as some of the guys ran yesterday, there's a pretty good idea that 4.95 isn't going to get in," Arend said. "There's a lot of guys trying to run quicker than that, and in the 4.80s, for sure, just to remain in the field. Right now the track isn't as good as it was yesterday. Tomorrow we'll have two more runs to improve, but it will be warmer, so you never know. If the track doesn't improve it doesn't do anybody any good - except for me, and to remain No. 1 is the objective."
Qualifying coverage of the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals will be telecast on ESPN2 on Saturday, Nov. 3, beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern. NHRA Race Day will kick off eliminator coverage on Nov. 4, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern on ESPN2, and a three-hour telecast of final eliminations will start at 7 p.m. Eastern.
-credit: gm racing